I Can’t Save Myself | Daily Devotional | Ellel Ministries UK
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Seeds of the Kingdom

I Can’t Save Myself

by Bernard Kariuki

12 November 2017

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For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Mark 8:35, NIV

Kingdom principles are very different and contrary to earthly principles, and that’s why Naaman couldn’t understand why he, a man of his stature, an army commander and a valiant soldier, had to wash himself in Jordan river. He said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy" (2 Kings 5:11). He had it all figured out how he can save his life, and he was already leaning on his own understanding. In today’s scripture, it’s the principle of losing our life that will actually save it, but most of us try to save our life, so as not to lose it. Like Naaman, most of us have already figured our way out, by leaning on our own understanding. But we can’t be cured of our leprosy by approaching it our way. Our way seems right, but leads to destruction.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run unto it, and they are safe. God literally want us to shout “Lord! Help!” Peter did this, ‘But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted’ (Matthew 14:30). Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter. We need to acknowledge that we can’t save ourselves. If Peter had been guided by pride and ego, he might have thought, with his experience of the sea, as he’d been a fisherman, that he could manage to save himself and get back to the boat, without looking foolish before the rest of the disciples. No, Peter put pride and ego down and shouted “Lord, save my life”.

We need to come to that position of letting go and letting God. ‘Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away’ (Acts 27:31). In the midst of the northeastern typhoon storm, everyone in the boat with Paul was panicking for their lives. The ship’s crew started throwing the cargo and ship’s gear overboard, in a desperate attempt to save themselves.

In all these desperate attempts, Paul told them that, to save their lives, they needed to stay in that ship, and not try to save themselves by using the life boat. That way they would lose their lives. It took courage for the people to let go of their own understanding of how to save themselves. They had to release the lifeboat, which seemed the only way out, and trust in the word of God which had come through Paul.
There’s no amount of man’s own effort that can save us in the midst of storms. That which we are clinging on to with our dear life, can’t save us and won’t be there forever. Our Lord will be there for us forever.

Once I heard a story of a man who was hanging on a branch for his dear life after a storm. Jesus appeared and told him to let go of the branch and He would catch him and save him. But, clearly the man didn’t trust Jesus’ assurance, and he continued holding on. Then Jesus left. This man eventually became so tired and his hands became so numb, he couldn’t hold no longer. He had to let go. Unfortunately, it was too late.
We can’t save ourselves. Let’s realise this before it’s too late. Trust in Him, the author of life.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for trying to hold my life together on my own, without engaging You, and trying to control everything that goes on in my life. Lord, help me to let go of my control. I invite You to be the Lord of all in my life. Help me with my trust issues, so I can trust in You in everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bernard Kariuki is from Kenya, and married to Yulia from Russia. They met in Ellel Ministries and served together for many years at both Ellel Scotland and Ellel Grange. Bernard has the desire to share the Word of God with young people, for he desires to see young people walking in holy fear of the Lord.

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